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Spy Rock to Crabtree Falls Shuttle

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.5 (4) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

This point to point hike combines Spy Rock Road, a portion of the A.T., and the Crabtree Falls Trail in a scenic outing.


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Map Key

8.0

Miles

12.9

KM

Point to Point

3,922' 1,195 m

High

1,759' 536 m

Low

1,507' 459 m

Up

2,500' 762 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

36%

Max Grade (20°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Views · Waterfall

There are currently issues with the Spyrock AT parking area and the private road that leads to the National Forest. Some of the land owners (myself included) have had some unfortunate incidents with a very small number of day hikers that has become more common as the popularity of the hike to Spy Rock has exploded. I recommend you use Meadows Lane road and hike up Cash Hollow 4WD road to access Spy rock from the north. Currently there are signs posted that prohibits access via the Fish Hatchery.

Overview

An outstanding hike that includes both the 360 degree view from Spy Rock and the 1,200 foot high cascades of the Crabtree Falls all bundled into one full and enjoyable point-to-point route.

Need to Know

At the start of the outing, leave a shuttle car at the Crabtree Falls parking lot (there is a small fee to park here). This will be used to fetch the rest of the cars at the end of the day. Then drive everyone to the parking lot at the end of Fish Hatchery Road.

Description

Starting from the parking at the end of the Fish Hatchery Road, climb the Spy Rock Road which leads to the Appalachian Trail. Shortly after the junction with the A.T. take the short Spy Rock Spur. This is a rock scramble that rises to a 360-degree view. Return to the A.T. and continue hiking first east, and then slightly north to the Crabtree Farm Road.

Where the trail crosses the road, turn left to descend the road to the parking in Crabtree Meadows, and then continue down the Crabtree Falls Trail. Along this portion of the trail, you'll enjoy scenic views, and will pass Upper Crabtree Falls. This is a perfect place to stop to enjoy the scenery, and the falls themselves are spectacular.

From there, it's a straight shot down the Crabtree Falls Trail to reach your shuttle car and the end of the hike.

Contacts

Shared By:

John Phillips with improvements by Mike Ya

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 4 votes

#2484

Overall
  4.5 from 4 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#76

in Virginia

#2,484

Overall
17 Views Last Month
2,908 Since Jan 27, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

The upper portion of Crabtree Falls is especially serene during a foggy day.
Jan 21, 2017 near Nellysford, VA
Ice climbers at Crabtree Falls in January.
Feb 7, 2016 near Nellysford, VA
Enjoy a great view from Spy Rock.
Mar 23, 2017 near Nellysford, VA
The view from Spy Rock is hard to beat!
Jan 27, 2017 near Nellysford, VA
Our group climbs to the top of Spy Rock Road.
Jan 27, 2017 near Nellysford, VA
Crab Tree Falls (CTF), lone cairn at base of falls
Aug 18, 2018 near Nellysford, VA

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Check-Ins

Nov 16, 2020
Tom DeScisciolo
Jun 11, 2019
Joy Granados
Fish hatchery to spy rock. 1.5 miles and 1200 feet. 1.5mi — 1h 30m
Nov 11, 2018
Christa M
Aug 18, 2018
Atomic Rickshaw
Nov 5, 2017
Arleen Paredes
Although the 360 degree view was engulfed by fog today, the hike was short enough for a day hike, but was steep enough to get a great work out in. 1.8mi
Apr 2, 2016
Dave Lane
not correct trail, but hiked spy rock